Cheers To You

An exploration of all things wine with local wine expert Mary Earl.
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Five Star Cellars Sangiovese our choice for molasses pork tenderloin

September 21st, 2012 by brynn grimley

As we head into fall it’s time to start thinking about making the transition from drinking light, refreshing wines to ones that hold more weight for recipes that will warm our bellies on chilly nights.

We’re excited for the move into harvest season — with it also comes the harvest of 2012 grapes — but as this week has shown even though the calendar says fall is here (Sunday is the first day of autumn after all), we’re experiencing a lingering summer.

That leaves us with the challenge of finding a wine to bridge the gap between summer and fall, but still hold up to Ann Vogel’s Molasses Balsamic Glazed Pork Tenderloin recipe.

While the recipe sounds sweet with the molasses and sweetened coconut, we think the acidity of the balsamic vinegar will balance things out. And while you might think of molasses as something to top your pancakes in the morning, and give you a little sugar boost, if combined with the right ingredients its savory herbal notes are able to shine.

It’s these herbal notes that we want to bring out with our recommended wine pairing of the Italian grape Sangiovese. We recently recommended this wine for a pairing where balsamic vinegar dominated in April, and we’re recommending it again for many of the same reasons.

Sangiovese is a nice transition wine because of the grapes’ relatively thin skins. As a result the wine doesn’t carry the weight in the mouth that a hearty winter red might. Instead it’s a medium-bodied wine, with notes of strawberry, blueberry and plum. These fruit flavors are more prominent than the tannins because of the thin skins. The acidity of the wine will accent the herbal flavors of the molasses and browned pork.

For this recipe we recommend the Five Star Cellars Sangiovese. The Walla Walla winery’s 2008 Sangiovese won a double gold at the Seattle Wine Awards.

The winery describes its award-winning Sangiovese as opening with spice and hints of rhubarb on the nose, with bright cherry flavors and acidity in the middle and a clean finish. The wine demands a good meal to balance it out, according to the winery, so why not give the pork tenderloin a try?

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